DÜRER, Albrecht
(b. 1471, Nürnberg, d. 1528, Nürnberg)

Emperor Charlemagne

c. 1512
Oil on lindenwood, 188 x 87,6 cm
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg

The idealized portrait of Emperor Charlemagne was intended for the "Heiltumskammer" in the Schoppersche House by the marketplace, together with the portrait of Emperor Sigismund of Poland (also in Nuremberg). This was where the coronation insignia and relics were kept, which were put on display once a year at the so-called "Heiltumsweisungen." The physiognomy of Charlemagne, shown in the magnificent original coronation robes, is reminiscent of depictions of God the Father. The crown, sword and imperial orb were prepared by Dürer in sketches. The German imperial coat of arms and French coat of arms with the fleur-de-lis are emblazoned at the top.

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